Chicago has a top-10 pick for the first time since 2007, when they selected Patrick Kane with the top overall pick. As Zawaski notes there’s plenty of talent players the Hawks are “excited” about, and he says the Hawks could use the No. 27 pick as a way to upgrade the center position.
Zawaski’s report comes only a week after Scott Powers of The Athletic stated the Hawks would be willing to trade the No. 8 pick given the “right situation.” Powers noted what the “right situation” would be is unknown, but acquiring a notable NHL player is like the likely case.
In 2017, the Hawks used their first two draft picks of the draft on right-handed defenseman in Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell in the first and second round, respectively. Jokiharju signed a three-year entry-level contract with Chicago on June 12, while Mitchell will play his sophomore season for the University of Denver this winter under first-year coach David Carle.
The Hawks enter the NHL draft Friday at American Airlines Center in Dallas with two first-round picks for the first time since 2011. Chicago acquired the No. 27 pick and a fourth-round selection in the Ryan Hartman-Victor Edjsell trade with the Nashville Predators in February.
Hawks general manager Stan Bowman is scheduled to meet with media at noon Thursday to preview the draft.